Dora goes exploring: Sanctuary owner appeals for help tracking missing wallaby

Operator says marsupial at risk of infection called Lumpy Jaw which can prove fatal

Wallabies is harmless and will live off vegetation including grass, leaves and tree bark, sanctuary owner says. Photograph: iStock

Wallabies is harmless and will live off vegetation including grass, leaves and tree bark, sanctuary owner says. Photograph: iStock

 

An animal sanctuary operator has appealed to the public for assistance in trying to track down a wallaby which escaped last week and has been spotted hopping around the roads of north Cork.

Andrew Boyle who runs the Araglin Animal Sanctuary near Mitchelstown has urged anyone who spots the female wallaby - whom he has named Dora the Explorer since her escape - to contact him as quickly as possible.

“We have six wallabies here at the sanctuary but when we came back from holidays last Thursday, we discovered one of them had escaped -probably through a small hole in the fence in the enclosure where we keep them.

“There were fresh droppings around the sanctuary so she may have stayed around for a while but she may have been spooked by our dogs when we weren’t here because normally they don’t travel that far.

“She was spotted around 6.30am on Friday morning just north of Kilworth by a taxi driver on his way to work and we have another report of her being seen in Kilworth village around 5.30am on Saturday so she is still around.”

It is understood that the wallaby was spotted by taxi driver Noel Smith as he was driving to work between Mountain Barracks and Kilworth at around 5.30am on Friday morning and he filmed the animal on his phone.

Mr Boyle said that Dora - like all wallabies is harmless and will live off vegetation including grass, leaves and tree bark - but he is concerned that she might get stressed and injured if approached by anyone trying to capture her.

“It’s about two miles as the crow flies from the sanctuary to where Dora was spotted on Friday and she has since been seen in Kilworth village so she is staying around the area but there’s been no sighting since then,” he said.

Mr Boyle said one of the worrying things about wallabies is that if they get a cut, they can get an infection called Lumpy Jaw which can prove fatal so he is anxious to find Dora as soon as possible before she gets injured if trying to flee someone.

“My main concern is that she doesn’t get too stressed out and injures herself so we’re very keen to get her back as soon as possible and we would ask anyone who spots her to contact me immediately and I will get there as fast as I can.

“If she went into a back garden, it would be perfect because I could catch her no problem but if she’s out in the open, if they could just keep an eye on her from a distance - the main thing is to contact me immediately on 087-9881737.”